How to Prove a Trucking Company Is Falsifying Driving Logs

How to Prove a Trucking Company Is Falsifying Driving LogsAccording to the National Safety Council, almost 6,000 people in the United States were killed in truck accidents in 2021. One of the top reasons for these accidents is fatigued driving. Therefore, in order to prevent truck drivers from driving while tired or drowsy, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) continues to update their Hours of Service (HOS) regulations.

Unfortunately, despite these strict rules being put in place by the government, many trucking companies encourage their truckers to break the rules and lie on their driving logs by providing raises, bonuses, awards, and other incentives. While they think that they will never be caught doing this, there are certain ways to prove that a truck driver or trucking company is falsifying driving logs.

What are the HOS regulations?

The HOS regulations established by the federal government explain how many hours truck drivers are allowed to drive. The goal is to ensure that a trucker does not become tired, drowsy, or fall asleep while driving. Therefore, they have implemented driving times, off times, and break times into their regulations. Here are some of the rules put in place by the FMCSA regarding the HOS regulations:

  • Truck drivers can only drive a maximum of 11 hours after having 10 consecutive hours off duty.
  • Truck drivers cannot drive over 14 hours in one day even after having 10 consecutive hours off duty.
  • Truck drivers must take a 30-minute break after driving eight hours.
  • Truck drivers must have at least 34 hours off work after driving 60 hours in seven days or 70 hours in eight days.

Read more: Nearly 49% of Commercial Truck Drivers Might Have Sleep Apnea

What are trucking logs?

Trucking logs are proof that a truck driver is following the HOS regulations. These records provide details about when a trucker started working and when they finished working. Truck drivers are required to record these times every single day that they work. The following are some of the information that can be found in trucking logs:

  • How long the trucker drove
  • How long they took a break
  • The number of miles they drove
  • The times they started, finished, took a break, and ended their break
  • The locations where the truck driver delivered, took a break, started their shift, or ended their shift
  • Names of any co-drivers
  • The tractor-trailer or truck number and carrier name

After the truck driver records this information, they are required to sign and give it to their employer. By signing, this states that all information provided is accurate and true.

Why do truckers and trucking companies lie on trucking logs?

The objective of the HOS regulations is to prevent truck drivers from working too many hours as well as encourage them to have some downtime and sleeping time. If they are not given this time, devastating and traumatic accidents are likely to occur. However, regardless of this policy, truck drivers still feel intense stress and pressure to stay behind the wheel and drive more hours than they are allowed. Some of their pressures come from their employers demanding that they make it to their delivery locations by a certain time to increase the company’s earnings. This often leads to lying on trucking logs.

Ways that a Chicago truck accident lawyer can prove log falsification in your case

The Chicago truck accident attorneys at Gainsberg Injury and Accident Lawyers are fully trained and experienced when it comes to investigating and finding log falsifications among truck drivers and trucking companies. There are a few different ways that we will do this, which include:

  • Looking at the electronic logging device (ELD): An ELD connects to a semi-truck’s engine to record the driver’s time on and off duty. Since this information may be beneficial to your case, our lawyers can request the data from the ELD to see if it matches the trucker’s logs. If the driver logs out of the ELD but continues to drive with the device still connected to the engine, there is a good chance that the ELD will record the miles driven. Therefore, if the ELD shows that there were a certain number of miles, but the hours do not match up, this may indicate that the individual is falsifying their driving logs.
    • It is also important to mention that when the trucker logs back into the ELD, it will ask them if they want to claim the time driven while logged out as on-duty time. If the driver does not claim the time as on-duty time, it will be classified as unassigned or unidentified. Our attorneys will look for any unassigned or unidentified times on the individual’s ELD report.
  • Investigating personal conveyance reasons: When a truck driver needs to drive while off-duty for any non-working reason, they are required to fill out a personal conveyance report. Drivers may decide to pull the personal conveyance card when their regular hours have been reached to avoid going over the HOS limits. That said, a truck accident lawyer from our team will investigate the reasons given for filling out personal conveyance reports. The FMCSA does not give rules for how long or far a person can drive the truck for personal reasons, making this tricky to determine. However, the time is recorded, which gives our attorneys the opportunity to investigate the reasons given for claiming personal conveyance.
  • Reviewing and analyzing odometer reports: The truck driver’s odometer report provides important details, such as the trucker’s mileage at the start of their shift and at the end of their shift. If there is a large, unexpected increase in the odometer report that doesn’t seem to make sense, this may indicate that the odometer did not record some of the miles driven. This is a tell-tale sign that the ELD device was unplugged for a certain period of time while the truck continued moving. If a trucker unplugged the device, there is a good chance that they did not want the odometer to track their miles because they were over the HOS time limit.

If you were involved in a truck accident in Chicagoland, Gainsberg Injury and Accident Lawyers is here to assist you with filing a lawsuit against the responsible parties. Our team will investigate your claim and determine the causes of your crash as well as who is liable. You can call our office or submit our contact form to schedule a free consultation in Chicago.